Healthy Meetings

Posted on June 6th, 2013 by Seth Nickinson

There are quick meetings, long meetings, all-day meetings, 1 on 1 meetings, facilitated meetings, client meetings, and working meetings. There are are lengthy brainstorming meetings and quick stand-up meetings at the beginning of a shift. Meetings can be a great venue to reinforce positive health messages, or they can set the tone for a stagnant, unhealthy workday. The choice is yours.

Our tips:

  1. Stretch It Out: Start every meeting with 2 minutes of simple, low-impact stretches. like neck rolls, shoulder shrugs, arm circles, knee bends. Invite different staff to lead the stretch each time. Stretching ideas here.
  2. Make It a Moving Meeting – Did you know it takes just about 2000 steps to walk a mile? Implement “moving meetings” when you have a 1:1 or small group gathering.  Consider whether you truly need your notepads, tables, or electronic devices – or is an open conversation what’s called for? Depending on time and mobility constraints, take a turn around the parking lot or go for a longer sojourn.  Sunshine and movement help blood and creativity get to the brain!
  3. Celebrate Success :  Make space in your team meetings to acknowledge progress individuals or groups are making on their wellness goals. 
  4. Tasty Bites: Whether with employees or outsiders like customers and partners, meeting snacks are a great chance to show your commitment to good food. Do away with purchased donuts, bagels & cream cheese, cookies or chips for team meetings.  Instead offer fresh fruit or yogurt/fruit/granola parfaits for morning events.  Choose veggies & hummus, low-cal pretzels, low-fat, low-salt popcorn, and the like for afternoon gatherings.  If you are catering a meeting or event, choose a vendor who can provide fresh, nutrient-dense choices with less processing.  If you take the team out for a meal, don’t choose fast food.  If you do want sweets, encourage homemade goodies.
  5. Little Bytes: bytes are bits of information. Take 30 seconds to offer a “Did You Know?” fact or healthy tip at each meeting. This website is chock full of action-oriented tips, and you can access a set of 101 Fun Facts here…

Walking Meeting at Center for Total Health by tedeytan on Flickr.

Kaiser Healthy Meetings Guides and Promotion

Meeting WellTM is a planning tool offered by the American Cancer Society to help companies organize meetings and events with good health in mind. 

Healthy Meeting Policiesdraft policies from the California Department of Public Health